NORTH Ayrshire’s Conservative Councillors will not be using Twitter anymore – just a week after two of their members were lambasted for their views on the social media platform.

The group have taken the step to stop their seven councillors using Twitter after Irvine West Cllr Scott Gallacher had to apologise for offensive tweets about various SNP female politicians from a secret account. 

This was after calls for his Conservative colleague Cllr Todd Ferguson to quit over ‘xenophobic’ tweets about SNP rival Cllr Joy Brahim.

In a statement, the group said: “The Conservative Group of councillors on NAC condemns the use of Twitter by councillors from all parties who have used this and social media to attack other councillors.

“We accept our responsibility to support and observe the high standards of conduct which is expected of all councillors. We do as councillors strive to comply with the Councillors’ Code of Conduct published by the Standards Commission for Scotland.

This provides that when performing duties as a councillor, a councillor must respect all other councillors, members of the public and all council employees and the role they play, treating them with courtesy at all times.

“If we have inadvertently failed to live up to this high standard we do apologise.

“We have decided as a group to cease using Twitter and will not respond to any negative and derogatory postings from fellow councillors and in the interest of member relations would request that other members do likewise.

“Otherwise member relations will be irreparably damaged and impair the work of the council.”

Group Leader Councillor Tom Marshall said: “The group unanimously agreed to this statement.

“We also congratulated Councillor Todd Ferguson, who was subject to a spurious complaint to the Standards Commission, on his receipt from Commission of Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland, intimation that he had not contravened the Code of Conduct in respect of a complaint made by another councillor.”

But Cllr Brahim has hit back at the statement saying that the Conservatives have been the worst offenders in the social media storm and that the complaint to the Standards Commission did not come from her.

She said: “This utterly predictable statement comes straight from the Conservative Party manual: 1) come out with an appalling view/ action/policy; 2) go into hiding so you don’t have to hear about how it actually affects other human beings and get rid of the evidence by deleting your Twitter account. Everybody knows the real reason they have deleted their accounts is so people can’t go back and discover more of their bile, because it truly is bile.

“The fact of the matter is it’s only been Conservative councillors who used Twitter to defend slavery, to tell other users to “keep jogging on” and to “F.O.” (f**k off), to call users “mad”, a “T$%T” (twat), “tardo”, to make derogatory remarks about women’s looks and callthem “shouty wimmin” who should stay at home making their husbands’ lunches, to call on people to boycott a local business because its owner doesn’t share their politics, to spread lies about another councillor, to incite outrage against another councillor because she’s foreign, and so on...And that’s just on Twitter.

“Given their embarrassing and undignified social media track record, one really has to laugh at Tom Marshall’s statement and misunderstanding of people’s intelligence.

“As for a complaint to the Standards Commission mine has yet to be filed as I have been extremely busy with work.”

Labour Cllr Robert Foster said: “The Tories taking their xenophobia and misogyny off Twitter is a good thing but social media is not the issue, it is the fact that they hold these views in the first place.

“Astonishingly, it seems they are happy to dish out on social media but don’t like it when its called out for what it is - bile.

“As for congratulating Todd Ferguson, there will be many people wondering what planet these Tories live on.”

“What is missing from the Tories statement is the word sorry. A genuine, apology, rather than these diversionary tactics, is what’s needed after last week."